Whitewater Memorial State Park in Liberty, Indiana is about to receive a large veterans memorial statue featuring a kneeling soldier… and you totally know where this is going:
If that doesn’t scream “America is a Christian Nation,” I don’t know what does. It’s like a Stephen Colbert wet dream, with an eagle, a soldier, and a cross all in one.
That sculpture was designed by Dayle Lewis, who doesn’t hide his faith on his website:
If you can imagine it, he can probably carve it. It is Dayle’s hope you will get as much joy from owning the carvings as he got from creating them. SMILE !!!!! For God Loves You The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? Psalms 27: 1-2
When the carving was unveiled at the Liberty Festival in July, only one person, Wendell Bias, had the courage to say something about it:
… [Bias] immediately objected to having a single religious symbol displayed.
Bias did not respond to a request for comment, but in a recent letter to the Liberty Herald he said veterans who were in the Army when he served were not asked what their religion was before they were sent to Vietnam to die.
“A memorial to veterans dead and alive need not carry any religious symbols,” Bias wrote.
Last week, though, for reasons that aren’t clear, Bias apologized for saying anything negative about it:
On Wednesday, Bias went to the Union County Development Corp. office and apologized to [Union County Development Corp. executive director Melissa] Browning and [Whitewater Memorial State Park manager Scott] Crossley for the problems he’d caused, Browning said.
That’s… weird. He shouldn’t have apologized because he’s right. A government run park can’t have a statue that promotes one religion and no other.
You may recall that the City Council of Lake Elsinore, California was faced with the same problem last year — their veterans monument had a whole bunch of Christian crosses… and a single Jewish star (diversity!):
That monument was nixed by a judge for being an endorsement of religion.
I have no doubt that this one — with one Christian cross and no Jewish star — will face the same fate.
Of course, supporters of it are claiming that no one in their right mind would have a problem with the carving. It’s about the troops! But the criticism isn’t about the soldiers’ sacrifice. It’s about the Constitution they fought to protect. This statue, in a government park, violates that document. Even if Bias doesn’t put a stop to it, somebody will.
It’d be best to just donate that statue, private donations and all, to a local church where it belongs.
(Thanks to David for the link)